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Supplementary Statement on the mass shooting in Hamburg

Selters/Taunus, March 10, 2023 – Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany and all over the world are deeply disturbed by the unimaginable act of hatred and violence that occurred on Thursday evening in Hamburg. As a result of the mass shooting in a Kingdom Hall after an evening church service, seven Jehovah’s Witnesses lost their lives, including an unborn child. Another eight were injured, including four severely.

We can confirm that the alleged perpetrator is a former Jehovah’s Witness who voluntarily left the organization two years ago. We do not know the motives behind this grotesque crime. Like the rest of the world, we were both troubled and perplexed to read in the international news that the gunman reportedly harbored “particular anger” for not only Jehovah’s Witnesses, but other religious groups and his former employer.

Our deepest sympathy goes to the families of the victims as well as to the survivors. Our main focus continues to be providing pastoral care to all those affected by this tragedy.

At the same time, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the emergency response team. They acted swiftly and no doubt prevented further loss of life and injuries.

The Hamburg-Winterhude Congregation directly affected currently has 64 believers. It is one of 47 congregations in the city of Hamburg with a total of almost 4,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses.